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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Off-Season Hockey Training

February 1st, 2017

Sign up today for one of our programs.  Call Barry at 780-919-7414

Hockey Players trying to decide where to train this summer? There are a lot of options – make an informed decision by asking:
1) Does the trainer have a Sport Science Degree?
2) Are they a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)?
3) How much experience do they have training athletes?
4) Do they have support staff to deal with injuries?
For almost 20 years, Premier Strength has been taking care of every aspect of training athletes (strength, power, speed, conditioning, injury rehab, nutrition, etc).

 

 

Sleep Can be your Secret Weapon in the Playoffs!!!

February 24th, 2016

How Much Sleep do you Need?

7 to 9 Hours per night is recommended.  Studies show that increasing sleep to 10 hours per night can increase performance.  To determine how much sleep you need pay attention to how long it takes you to fall asleep.  If you fall asleep with in 20 minutes of going to bed and wake up before your alarm goes off you are getting enough sleep.  However if you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow and need an alarm to wake up, you are probably sleep deprived.  Experiment with going to bed 30 minutes earlier and see if you wake up with out an alarm, or see how you feel the next day, if this works great if not keep experimenting by adding another 30 minutes.  Once you find the ideal amount of sleep be consistent with getting that much sleep each night.  If you wake before your alarm it is time to get up if you have reach at least 7 hours, going back to sleep will make you feel tired unless you can sleep for another 90 minutes.

Tips: Turn electronics off 30 minutes before bed.  Read a book before bed.  If you do not fall asleep with in 20-30 minutes of turning the lights out get up and stretch or read.

What is “Sleep Debt”?

Sleep Debt is the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep on a nightly basis or over a week.  Important to understand that 1) You cannot build up a reserve by sleeping ahead, 2) You can only make up 2 hours max of lost sleep at a time,  3) Losing 1 hour per night for a week is equal to staying up for 1 full night, 4) You cannot make up sleep debt in large chunks by sleeping 14-16 hours be night on the weekend.

Are “Power Naps” Beneficial?

Power naps can be extremely beneficial; 1) To make up lost sleep (1.5-2 hours at a time), 2) To increase alertness and performance (15-30 minutes at a time).  Use longer naps 1.5-2 hours to catch up on lost sleep on off days only.  Use short 15-30 minutes on game days.

Tips: Drink caffeine 2-3 minutes before short power naps (15-30 minutes) and you will wake up more alert because of the effect that caffeine has on stimulating your central nervous system and it takes about 20 minutes for caffeine to kick in.  When taking longer naps set your alarm so that you do not sleep more then about 90 minutes.  All naps are most effective between 1pm – 3pm.

Closing Remarks: 1) Determine how many hours you need per night,  2) Use power naps to your benefit,  3) Do not oversleep, 4) If you have good sleep habits do not be concerned if you get one night of bad sleep (even before a game), it will not have a negative effect on performance. 

 

Good Luck in the Playoffs,   Looking forward to seeing you in the Premier Strength gym this summer.

Barry

 

 

Eight Straight for Canada!

August 17th, 2015

Huge congrats to Premier Strength athletes Dave Quenneville and Tyler Benson and the rest of Team Canada for their win at the U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Tyler registered 5 points in 4 games and Dave registered an assist. Awesome job guys!

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Water: Your body’s most essential nutrient!

August 4th, 2015

Water is the body’s most essential nutrient. Water alone makes up approximately 65% of your body. H20 is critical for maintenance of the circulatory and digestive systems as well maintaining proper kidney function and electrolyte balance. Mild dehydration is classified as a drop of 2-3% of body fluid, resulting in symptoms of tiredness, fatigue and headaches. Moderate dehydration occurs when your body fluid level drops by 5 or 6%. At this stage of fluid loss, symptoms such as muscle cramping, nausea, increased heart rate and extreme fatigue become apparent. Fluid loss of 7-9% results in extreme dehydration which can be fatal and requires emergency care to prevent organ failure.

While hydration is essential for all healthy body functioning, athlete hydration is of the paramount importance. Due to the nature of sport and training, dehydration is more common in athletes and results in performance detriments. Studies by the International Olympic Committee have found that dehydration can impair athlete performance in essentially every form of sport. While endurance athletes tend to be at a higher risk for dehydration due to activity length, anaerobic athletes can see a decrease in as much as 45% in the capacity to perform bursts of high intensity exertion. Dehydration results in performance decrements largely due to:

• Reductions in blood volume
• Decreased skin blood flow
• Decreased sweat rate
• Decreased heat dissipation
• Increased core temperature
• Increased rate of muscle glycogen use.

An important way to ensure you are staying hydrated through both your training and ice sessions is to measure your body weight before and after activity. You should be consuming 2 cups of fluid for every lb lost during exercise to help re-establish your hydration level. When you feel thirsty, your body has already started to become dehydrated, therefore you should not rely on thirst cues as an indicator of when you should drink. An easy way to keep track of your hydration levels, is to monitor the colour of your urine. The more hydrated your body is the more diluted (less yellow, more clear) your urine will be. As your body becomes more dehydrated, your urine will appear more concentrated (bright to dark yellow), indicating that you should up your water intake.

For active men, the average daily water intake you should strive for is about 16 cups (approx. 4L) whereas for females it is around 11 (or 2.75L).  We suggest that our athletes consume 8-10L per day during training.

Outside of reducing the likelihood of exercised induced dehydration, keeping your body hydrated can have many overall health benefits such as:

-improving muscle function
-detoxifying the body
-lubrication of joints
-increasing metabolism

Water is the most important and cheapest fluid you can drink! Are you keeping yourself quenched? 

ZMA: Boosting Testosterone the Natural Way!

July 9th, 2015

ZMA is a dietary supplement that contains a blend of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6, all crucial minerals in daily bodily functions. For athletes, ZMA has been found to help replenish vital nutrients drained from the body by training. Research has found that ZMA supplementation before bed, can help with more restful sleep, aiding in faster recovery. Magnesium and zinc deficiencies have been found to have an adverse effect on muscle growth, and training stress has been found to lead to mineral and vitamin loss. Adding ZMA into your nutrition program can help aid in your sleep recovery and has also been found to have a positive influence on testosterone production in the body. ZMA acts as a natural free testosterone booster in the body, making it a safe supplement for high level, elite athletes. Although, you are better off not drinking alcohol in the first place, if you absolutely must drink, ZMA supplementation is crucial. Alcohol depletes your body’s stores of Vitamin B as well as destroys your liver enzymes. ZMA can help recover some of the nutrients lost to help save your next week of training. While ZMA can’t erase the harmful effects of drinking, it can help your body recover.


Talk to Barry to see if ZMA is right for you!

Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.

July 3rd, 2015

Athletes are always looking for something that is going to give them the competitive edge. But what if the most important performance enhancer could be found in your bedroom? The study of sleep and its importance in athletic performance has become of paramount importance to National and NHL teams alike. Teams have begun to realize that perhaps the key to maximizing athletic performance starts the night before the game.

Stanford University’s Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine has been at the forefront of research in the area of sleep and athletic performance. Through their studies with numerous collegiate teams, it has become evident that extended sleep results in significant improvements in “critical game day skills” such as reaction time, shooting accuracy, speed and resistance to fatigue. On the flip side, sleep deficiencies can negatively impact sport performance. A study looking at 55 NFL players found that players who reported higher levels of sleep deficiency, were at a lower likelihood of remaining with the team that drafted them. Lack of sleep has also been found to increase the risk of injury in teenage student athletes.

So what benefits does sleep provide to the elite athlete?

  • Sleep is crucial in the ability to perform cognitive tasks both on and off the field. Sleep plays a huge role in the cognitive abilities such as memory, learning and reaction time. Even one night of disrupted sleep can impact reaction time scores the following training session.
  • Sleep promotes muscle recovery. As athletes, we put our bodies through hell trying to become stronger and faster. While we sleep, muscle recovery is allowed to occur through cell regeneration and protein synthesis.
  • Sleep is a mood moderator. When you are well rested, you have a better ability to handle stress and anxiety, which can have an impact on perceived fatigue.

So how can you make sure you are getting the maximum benefits out of your sleep?

  • Keep a sleep schedule. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Creating  a set sleep routine, helps to modulate your sleep/wake cycle helping you to fall asleep easier and wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Power down your electronics at least an hour before bed. Televisions, cell phones and computers emit blue light, which has a similar effect on the brain as daylight. This tricks the mind into thinking that it is still daytime, ultimately shutting down melatonin secretion, the hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness.
  • Keep the room cool. A reduction in body temperature is a keep part of the sleep initiation and maintenance process. Try to keep the room temperature in your bedroom between 15 and 20 degrees celsius to help the body find its optimal sleep temperature.
  • Sleep should come within 15-20 mins of getting into bed. If you are struggling falling asleep for more than 30 mins, get up and stretch or read, trying to take your mind off things that are inhibiting your mind from falling asleep.

Sleep is essential for all bodily functioning and is paramount for optimizing athletic performance. Athletes should get at least 8 hours of sleep, with greater benefits coming from as much as 10 hours. Are you prioritizing your sleep routine? Remember, a lack of sleep, makes you weak! 

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